Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

*Hot Topics* 39 Wives Later, Jeff Bezos In Space, Companies Love LGBTQ+, Southern Baptists Convene

Hot Topics

It’s time for my monthly “Hot Topics” podcast episode, where I talk about some of the exciting things I saw trending in the news and happenings in our culture from this past month.

Man With 39 Wives Dies (Of Course He Did!)

So this is a fun story. It was reported this past month that a man in India with 39 wives, and 94 children died this past month. Chana was 74 years old. Yeah, I think I’d tap out about that point too, if not sooner.

Ziona Chana lived in a 4-story pink home that had over 100 rooms. He was the head of a polygamous Christian sect, a sect he inherited from his grandfather. Chana was 17 when he married his first wife. At one point, he married 10 wives in one year, and was still looking to expand his “family” at the time of his death.

I’ve never understood the entire polygamy thing. As I used to tell my wife, every guy understands that polygamy would be extremely expensive. No wonder the guy had lead a cult. Only cult leaders can afford to have that many wives.

Oh, by the way fellas, it’s a bad thing to tell your wife that your major hang-up with polygamy is the cost. She doesn’t think that’s a good answer. I learned this early on in my relationship with my wife. The true answer, that I now tell my wife, as why polygamy isn’t for me: “Because I only have enough love in my heart for one woman.”

Jeff Bezos Is Going To Space

The founder of Amazon.com is going to outer space this July. He’s hitching a ride on his Blue Origin space rocket company, and he’s taking a couple people with him who bought tickets. One might say that Blue Origin has kinda been his “side hustle” while he’s been building his online retail empire. Keep that in mind the next time you consider making extra cash by becoming an Uber driver. While you are spending 11 terrifying minutes picking up strangers and driving them around town in your mini-van, guys like Jeff Bezos are spending 11 minutes taking people to space on the rockets they’ve built for themselves.

Companies Love LGBTQ+ People?

The month of June was celebrated as “Pride” month in America. It’s a month in which the LGBTQ+ community was honored. This year seemed especially festive compared to prior years. I noticed a lot more rainbow flag displays everywhere. Especially on social media, where thousands of corporations incorporated rainbow colors into their online presence. Some companies changed their colors June 1st.

But I noticed a large assortment of companies who apparently didn’t get the memo until late, and didn’t change their colors until 2 or 3 weeks into June. Which got me to thinking, are these corporations really in love with LGBTQ+ people and issues? Or were they just trying to avoid the possible negative publicity that could potentially arise if they didn’t blend in with what everyone else was already doing? It’s almost like some companies were caving to some institutional peer pressure.

Which got me to also thinking, how many, if any of these companies who went all out for Pride month in June, did so because they really are champions of human rights? If they are really the champions of human rights that they say, then why didn’t they stand up for LGBTQ+ people in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and other nations, where being gay might cost someone their life?

Maybe I’m just a cynic? But it seems to me that these companies didn’t really care all that much for LGBTQ+ people and their rights. They just thought they could potentially make a few bucks by pandering to a certain segment of our population in an overt display of crass commercialism. And, they probably thought it’d buy them some political insurance with the powers that be.

Southern Baptists Elect A New Pope!

This past month the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, got together for their annual conference. It was a highly contentious conference, in which issues regarding race, gender, and sexual abuse scandals dominated the conference.

There were two primary factions within the SBC trying to decide the future of the denomination. One was led by a group of individuals who likened themselves unto “pirates,” who wanted to save the denomination from the “woke” group of individuals they believe are misleading the SBC, and taking the denomination down a more progressive/liberal path.

In the end, the SBC elected a new “Pope” to lead their denomination. Pastor Ed Litton won the day, and defeated the pirates. I don’t have a lot to say about the SBC and the issues facing their denomination, or the person they elected to be their leader. While I was saved as a result of some Southern Baptists preachers sharing the gospel with me, and was baptized in a Southern Baptist church, I myself am not Southern Baptist.

I only bring up the issue to point out an important truth that a lot of folks get when they talk about Southern Baptists. The denomination is not monolithic. It’s a very loosely structured organization, a voluntary fellowship of independent churches. When attempting to understand them, it may be tempting to paint the denomination with wide strokes. But as someone who has spent a lot of time with SBC folks, and knows a lot of SBC folks, I must say, Southern Baptist Churches while having much in common, have just as many differences as they do things in common.

The Southern Baptist denomination is not like Catholics or Methodist churches, with a top-down hierarchy that rules and governs the affairs of their congregations from a central office. They are not a giant corporation in which their Pope is capable of having all that much influence on all the franchises. And if at any time any of the SBC churches aren’t happy with the SBC, they are free to leave it, and they don’t have to embrace any changes that anyone outside their local church tries to place on them. The churches, while related through a common organization, are truly independent and autonomous from one another. What they do as a denomination is purely a cooperative and voluntary effort. Which means, any changes that need to happen among SBC churches, whatever those are, must ultimately happen one church at a time.

Now if someone could just tell all the folks on Twitter and in the media this information, I think people just MIGHT withhold some of the sweeping generalizations and judgments that they make about the issues the denomination is facing. Because at the end of the day, changing things in SBC isn’t something that is very easily done.

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